Bigger Pockets 90 Day Challenge - A Success Story

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Hey everyone, 

Closed on my first investment property just shy of a week ago. A big part of my success, besides the podcast, was committing to the 90 Day Challenge. I started on Jan 28th after a Brandon Webinar, made my first offer on Mar 31st (~63 days later), and closed on May 4th (~96 days later). I wanted to attach the spreadsheet I created to track my journey, but realizing now I can't actually attach a file... So this post is a lot less epic than I planned... However, I will copy the table in here, this will likely be hard to read, but hopefully helpful to some...

Any day where I do not have notes is a day where I either assessed deals or researched rents. I plan to make some sort of a checklist out of the other notes I kept along the way. Here is the table of my journey:

DayDateStart TimeEnd Time
11/28/20215:55 PM6:15 PM
21/29/2021
31/30/20218:00 AM8:15 AM
41/31/20213:00 PM3:15 PM
52/1/20216:15 PM6:30 PM
62/2/20215:50 PM6:20 PMEmailed two loan officers asking if they could give me an idea on the interest rate I can get (heard nothing back)
72/3/2021
82/4/20217:20 PM7:35 PM
92/5/202110:20 PM10:35 PM
102/6/20217:25 AM7:40 AM
112/7/20219:20 PM9:35 PM
122/8/20214:20 PM4:35 PM
132/9/20217:20 PM7:35 PM
142/10/20217:00 PM9:15 PMAttended the Feb StL Real Estate Investor Meetup
152/11/202112:25 PM12:40 PMScheduled time with Peter MacKercher at StL Mogul and filled out his questionairre.
162/12/2021
172/13/20219:10 AM9:25 AM
182/14/20216:20 PM6:35 PM
192/15/20214:30 PM4:45 PMChatted w/ Peter MacKercher from StL Mogul Real Estate
202/16/20214:30 PM4:45 PMReached out to Peter's loan officer and researched Tower Grove Neighborhoods Community Development group regarding their tenant screening process
212/17/20217:30 PM7:45 PMFilled out my loan application
222/18/20217:05 PM7:20 PMSigned off documents on new umbrella policy for primary home
232/19/202112:30 PM12:45 PMProvided Chet more info on goals and investigated the docs he needs
242/20/202111:10 AM11:25 AMReviewed pre-approval, reached out to Chet and team with questions and thanks, emailed Peter asking next step and some questions on other things to consider right now
252/21/2021
262/22/20217:00 PM7:15 PM
272/23/20217:20 PM7:35 PMGot back to Tyson with Mogul (agent) and reached out to Eric Brand from Shelter Insurance, researched the type of lawyer I would need for writing a lease (Real Estate lawyer)
282/24/20214:45 PM5:00 PMSpoke with Tyson about what I am looking for
292/25/20218:15 PM8:30 PM
302/26/2021
312/27/20217:00 AM7:15 AM
322/28/2021
333/1/20214:25 PM4:40 PMSpoke with Eric Brand from Shelter Insurance
343/2/20215:55 PM6:10 PMUpdated spreadsheet with insurance info from Eric Brand and reached out to Tyson on advice on making low offers
353/3/20216:05 PM6:20 PM
363/4/20216:55 PM7:10 PM
373/5/20217:40 PM7:55 PM
383/6/2021
393/7/2021
403/8/20216:30 PM6:45 PM
413/9/20218:35 PM8:50 PM
423/10/20217:00 PM8:00 PMAttended the Mar StL Real Estate Investor Meetup
433/11/20217:30 PM7:45 PMSent Tyson a list of properties to try and walk through. Added some lines to my spreadsheet to just show general targets based on rent levels
443/12/2021
453/13/20215:10 PM5:25 PM
463/14/20212:00 PM3:30 PMLooked at two properties today. One on Arkansas and one on Flad
473/15/20212:40 PM2:55 PMShared my deal spreadsheet with Tyson and sent him an email explaining the details. Also read the MO Agreement of Sale
483/16/2021Stone Cold Day
493/17/202112:45 PM1:00 PMEmailed Tyson about the property on Dunnica that looks promising
503/18/2021
513/19/20217:50 PM8:05 PMSent Tyson an email about getting in to Dunnica and a house he sent over on California
523/20/20218:05 AM8:20 AM
533/21/20212:00 PM3:30 PMVisited 3400 Dunnica and two properties on Califormia
543/22/20217:45 PM8:00 PMAdded a 10 year cash flow and CoC ROI column to my spreadsheet
553/23/20217:05 PM7:20 PM
563/24/2021
573/25/20215:00 PM7:30 PMStL REI Happy Hour
583/26/20216:05 PM6:20 PMFilled out most of a loan application with Flat Branch, but then got nervous I was actually applying for a loan as opposed to a getting a pre-approval
593/27/2021
603/28/202111:00 AM11:15 AMWalked through my spreadsheet with Tyson
613/29/20217:50 PM8:05 PMSpoke with Jacob Day from Flat Branch lending and confirmed the application was just a pre-approval so I submitted. Also added columns to my spreadsheet that show cash flow & ROI with Rent and CapEx are excluded
623/30/20217:55 PM8:10 PMMessaged Tyson about two properties that the deals made sense and we put an offer together for both.
633/31/202111:15 AM11:30 AMPut in offers on two properties (Oleatha and Osceola) and visited the Oleatha property
644/1/20217:30 PM7:45 PMOleatha offer accepted. spoke with Jacob at Flat Branch and filled out disclosure form for F&B
654/2/20217:35 PM7:50 PMAll kinds of **** happened today... got quote from Jacob that beat F&B, signed off. Told F&B the sitch. Did a deep dive of multiple scenarios for Oleatha and know the key is raising rents to $700/unit
664/3/20219:20 AM9:35 AMSubmitted bid requests and called two tree services to inspect the large tree in back of Oleatha for health. Davey Tree service is going at ~10 AM Tuesday
674/4/202111:45 AM12:00 PMTook earnest money to Elite Title, Lauren paid it, and paid for tomorrow property inspection ($775)
684/5/20218:30 AM8:45 AMUploaded mortgage statement, W2 and paycheck stubs for mortgage.
694/6/202110:00 AM2:00 PMInspection at Oleatha, all went well. Almost too well...
704/7/20217:50 AM8:05 AMFilled out title company buyer form and then realized I cant sign it, so then decided to walk down to the office and sign... Emailed Eric with Shelter to let him know the address so he can quote me insurance. Sent over other loan related forms to Flat Branch.
714/8/20212:30 PM2:45 PMSpoke with Tyson about the inspection, due to how good it was, we are going to simply ask for the lateral line cabled. Also spoke with Eric and he sent over an insurance quote that I then provided to Flat Branch
724/9/20213:00 PM3:15 PMSent an updated mortgage statement to Flat Branch as well as connected my NWM account to AccountChek. Then I emailed financial advisor Rob on how to get the closing funds in a liquid account.
734/10/2021
744/11/2021
754/12/20214:45 PM5:00 PMReached out to Peter @ Mogul to start process for setting up property management, ran a Rent-o-Meter for Oleatha to get its take on rents nearby
764/13/20217:05 PM7:20 PMPeter is going to send me a contract for PM on 5/3, reviewed his team of contacts to determine if I should reach out to any of them and then got overwhelmed by the three types of lawyers... prepared questions for tomorrow's MeetUp, some about lawyers...
774/14/20217:00 PM8:45 PMAttended the Apr StL Real Estate Investor Meetup
784/15/20217:05 PM7:20 PMEmailed Jacob at Flat Branch to ask if getting a new credit card for real estate would impact my loan approval at this time. Also researched the difference between business and personal credit cards.
794/16/20216:55 PM7:10 PMSpoke to Jacob and he said it would be better not to try and get a new credit card right now because it could raise questions, but it likely would not cause me to lose my loan. I am opting not to pursue one.
804/17/2021
814/18/2021
824/19/20219:25 AM9:40 AMLet Chelsea at Flat Branch know that funds had been transferred to my closing account and emailed Peter asking for a representative example of a property mgmt contract. Took a call from Credit Plus to confirm my home mortgage
834/20/2021Provided Flat Branch confirmation of trades made to closing account
844/21/20216:00 PM7:30 PMBigger Pockets webinar "How to become a real estate millionaire"
854/22/2021
864/23/2021
874/24/2021
884/25/2021
894/26/2021
904/27/20218:10 PM8:25 PMReached out to Tyson to get an idea on closing time. Reviewed final disclosure doc for mortgage. Got appraisal on Google drive.
This is where the challenge stopped, but I wanted to keep taking notes
4/28/20217:55 PMSent email to the title company to get the closing time scheduled
4/29/2021Confirmed closing at 11 AM on May 4th at the title company
4/30/2021
5/1/202111:15 AMGot cashier's check for closing
5/2/2021
5/3/2021Tyson confirmed Oleatha passed occupancy checks
5/4/2021Met at title company for closing, collected keys from vacant unit, applied for AMEX Blue card
5/5/2021Began providing checklist items to property management, changed electric/gas in to my name for vacant unit, priced out new fridge/range for vacant unit
5/6/2021Provided more checklist items to property management, setup new checking account at local credit union, met with property manager and asked all my questions
5/7/2021Sent paperwork to City Water to have service transfered, literally have to fill out a form that is a photocopy of another form... this is why St. Louis cant have nice things...
5/8/2021Dropped keys off at Oleatha for Property Mgmt
5/9/2021Mothers Day and was not allowed to work at the property...
5/10/2021Organized all the files associated with the Oleatha purchase in my inbox and Google drive

My goal is to show other newbies out there that taking this big first step is possible and the 90 Day Challenge really helped me stay committed to making progress every day. Keep the faith and something good will happen.

Hey Leigh,

Yes, found the deal on the MLS and it's in STL. I had assessed about 60 deals to that point and then two hit the market the same day that made sense.

Looking off-market may be my next challenge. Wanted to get in to the game on this first one and get some experience.


Happy to give you some more deets Orvil. Got the property for $249,900 (which was about 10k over asking, used an escalator clause to get here). Based on my formula (8.3% vacancy, 10% repair, 5% CapEx, 10% prop mgmt, plus mortgage/prop tax/insurance and utilizes), I came up with $400+ in monthly cashflow and ~8% CoC ROI. Now, I predicted rents of $700/month per unit, median in this area is ~$750. After the offer and getting the rent rolls, I learned that all the units were currently rented for $550 and the units are in very good condition. One unit is vacant, another tenant is leaving end of May. So I can raise rents on two units to market immediately. On paper, the deal takes a big hit with the below market rent, but once it gets to market, it hits my numbers and makes me happy. Especially for a first deal. Just going for a single right...?